New Zealand has a horrible history of ponzi schemers.
In five of the last nine years ponzi schemers have been banged up in jail as a result of their nefarious actions.
Between 1991 to 2012 New Zealand had at least one active Ponzi schemer at work at all times – most under the old Securities Commission – which was ineffectual and was swept away to be replaced by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA).
The FMA can’t guarantee there are no ponzi schemes operating as you read this.
That means being on the alert when you choose who to invest with – but the large numbers of investors who have been caught indicate it is easy to fall prey to sharp Ponzi schemes – which the regulator says pop up more frequently in low interest rate times.
The word Ponzi comes from Italian Charles Ponzi – whose 1920s investment scheme in America forever joined his name to faux investment schemes where one depositors’ money is paid as returns to another with the pretence that it was legitimately earned from investing.
The classic feature of a Ponzi scheme is that early investors – who are gulled with huge fictitious returns claimed to be from investments in exotic or hard-to-price assets – become ambassadors for the scheme – often encouraging friends and relatives to join.(cont..)